Steven M. Mariano - Founder
Steven Mariano comes from humble roots. Raised on a vegetable farm in Southern New Jersey, he learned the value of hard work and sacrifice the old fashioned way. As Steven's greatest role model, his grandfather started the farm from a single acre of blackberries and turned it into one of the largest commercial agriculture operations on the east coast. As part of his success, Steven's grandfather constantly gave back to his large family and community.
Steven became a pilot at age sixteen and also lettered in baseball, football, basketball, and tennis in high school. More recently, Steven has pursued the martial arts and has more than fifteen years of black belt training. He believes in balancing and improving his mind and body spirit every day.
Steven is a serial entrepreneur with a track record of success. Over the last twenty-five years, Steven has founded four large enterprises all worth over $150 million in annual revenue. Two have been sold to NYSE-listed companies, one is still privately owned by Steven, and the other, Patriot National, went public on January 16, 2015. He also founded and simultaneously ran two companies - Strategic Outsourcing Inc. (SOI) and Managed Care USA - that were both ranked in the NC top 100-200 private companies. He later sold SOI to Union Planters Bank (Regions Bank). Throughout his career, Steven has created thousands of jobs across the country and contributed enormously to local communities.
Steven believes in measuring one's worth not in dollars earned, but in dollars given back. He has contributed millions of his personal fortune to worthy charities across the globe, and he has a special place in his heart for charities whose missions benefit children. Through the Mariano Foundation, Steven also works with Pope Frances-directed charities in Africa. His work has been recognized by the South Florida community, national philanthropic organizations, as well as the Catholic Church.
Steven's greatest treasures are his five children: Macy, Mackenzie, Nicholas, Chase, and Daniel. Throughout all of his business accomplishments, he has also raised his children as a single Dad. Now with three children in college and two in high school, he has sought to instill them with the same values he learned growing up on the farm: hard work, self- discipline, and community responsibility.
Sang Koo Kang – Director
Sang Koo Kang, also known as Master Sang, is the creator of the TNT Martial arts form, a celebrity trainer, an actor, and President of The Mariano Foundation. Born in Seoul, Korea, he lived in poverty and in a home where, as a younger stepbrother, he knew instinctively that he was being unfairly treated. He took it upon himself at a young age to become an entrepreneur. He delivered newspapers and sold subscriptions door-to-door so that he and his family could survive. Sang was physically and mentally abused by the newspaper supervisors, but his spirit couldn't be broken. Instead, he channeled his energy into studying Tae Kwon Do and developing a personal drive to succeed and to help others.
As a teen, Sang moved to the United States with his father. He enrolled in school and marveled at the lives his fellow classmates were living. Longing to improve his lot in life, Sang continued to study Tae Kwon Do and other martial arts forms and later developed his own martial arts style and system that combined Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai. Sang's style and system became TNT Martial Arts.
As his success grew, Sang never forgot the vow he made when he was in dire straits. Looking to give back to those in need, Sang worked with TNT student, business leader, philanthropist, and founder of The Mariano Foundation Steven Mariano to develop special training sessions for underprivileged children. The training sessions help the children achieve self-confidence, dedication, discipline, and physical fitness while improving their grades in school.
Master Sang, working together with Steven Mariano and The Mariano Foundation, has begun to put into practice what he calls “the most satisfying things in life”: giving support and hope to children at the most critical and formative time in their lives.
John Brant – Foundation Director
With more than twenty years of human resources experience in high-profile organizations, including IBM, Georgia Pacific Corp., PeopleSoft, Johnson & Johnson, and the FDIC, John brings valuable leadership and insight to The Mariano Foundation.
John is a trained economist and graduated magna cum laude from Marshall University in Huntington WV. He holds numerous civic board positions across South Florida, including positions with The American Heart Association, Miami Dade Schools, South Beach Aids Project (SOBAP), Miami-Dade Community Arts Council, and The Donor's Forum. He is also a member of the Florida Philanthropic Network.